The opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has warned senators that removal of Ike Ekweremadu as deputy Senate president is unconstitutional and invitation to anarchy.
Following the removal of Ali Ndume as Senate leader, some APC senators, notably Kabiru Marafa, had asked Mr. Ekweremadu to defect from the PDP to the ruling party in order to retain his position.
The spokesperson for the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, said in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said it was wrong for Mr. Marafa to have called on Mr. Ekweremadu to defect from the PDP to the APC.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to Senator Kabiru Marafa on the floor of the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, in which he advised Senator Ike Ekweremadu to defect to the APC in order to remain as the Deputy Senate President.
“This call is unconstitutional, undemocratic and, to say the least, unbecoming of Senator Marafa.
“There is no section or clause of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) that provides that one must be a member of the ruling party before he/she can be elected into any position in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
“Equally, it is very distasteful and uncharitable for any senator to stand on the floor of the hallowed chamber and ask his colleague to violate the constitution by cross-carpeting from his own party to join the ruling party.
“Note that it is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not the Senate of the APC.
“It is indeed laughable for Senator Marafa to cite the internal issues in the PDP as a reason for Senator Ekweremadu to defect.
“For the umpteenth time, let us reiterate that there is no faction in the PDP.
“A party is only factionalised when its organs are in disarray but this is different from what we have in the PDP where all the organs are intact behind the National Caretaker Committee under the chairmanship of Makarfi.
“A mere rebellion by a small interest group within the party cannot be referred to as factionalisation of the party,” he said.
Mr. Adeyeye then said any member of the PDP who used the current leadership disagreement caused by “the rebellious group” led by the former Borno State governor, Ali Sheriff, to defect is doing so at his or her peril.
“Senator Marafa or any other member of the APC has no power to make such demands on a member of the PDP.
“Any attempt to remove Senator Ekweramadu for being a member of the opposition party and not because of a constitutional breach or incompetence is a call for anarchy,” he added.